In the years I have been putting ink to paper, or more appropriately virtual ink to virtual paper (it is required by law that I phrase it that way because some of what I’ve been doing sure ain’t what you would call writing) I have learned a great many things, both pro and con.
For instance: the average person’s vocabulary stops growing at the ripe old age of 25. This tells me your average wordsmith possesses a more active brain. I’ve been told (and not to toot my own horn) that I excel at trivia. Now, if we dissect the trivia (at which I admittedly excel), we discover that I have more than likely beaten the 25 year brain atrophy problem, but at what cost? Had I learned lifesaving techniques, photography, or even how to make a decent jar of strawberry preserves, that would at least have been something. But for some reason my brain tends to hold on to a large percentage of what my ears suck into my head, i.e. trivia. If we examine this word, it’s very name defines it as useless information. So what have I actually learned? Oh, if you want to know the exact time the pillagian snorkley grappler gives birth to 16 babies averaging 24 pounds each, or how many blaylocks in a glorch, I’m your man; but, alas, I am relegated to spend my days watching photographers take pictures of EMTs saving people choking on strawberry preserve sandwiches.
If I were a bettin’ man, I’d wager you’ve learned quite a bit during your writing career. Since I cannot share your personal experiences, I will take it upon myself to regale you with more of my informational hi-jinx.
Another prime example: When you spell a word wrong, in some cases deleting a single letter and replacing it will correct the aforementioned mistake. I’ve misspelled words at the beginning of a sentence and deleted the entire sentence just to get at the unacceptable grammar.
This brings about an entirely different conundrum. What happens to the letters, especially the ones doing their job in the correctly spelled words? Are they recycled and used again? Are they destroyed and tossed into our already overly used landfill system? Or could it be these victims of the 26 club (a.k.a. the alphabet) whisked away right from under our noses and sold on the digital ebony bazaar.
This series of unanswered questions leads us deeper and deeper into the abyss of inescapable analog tar pits. A classic question I’m sure on everyone’s lips: If the unused letters, digits and symbols were thrown willy nilly into a landfill, would they outlast the diapers and plastic bottles?… I guess only time will tell.
How many times have you touched your keyboard in some unusual way, only to find it did something beneficial you weren’t aware of? And of course, the first words out of your mouth were, “I had no idea it could do that. Had I known I could have saved a bundle on erasers and white out.”
But alas, we live and learn.
As I bring another post to a close, I’d like to leave you with this one thought: Writing can bring you into unimaginable worlds, especially if your writing is centered around writing about unimaginable worlds. So take time to think about the things that have been opened to you just through writing. But never forget that thinking can be dangerous if those thoughts are thought when thinking should not be thought of. Being there is a fine line between genius and the ramblings of an idiot, I will leave you to ponder these thoughts in whichever way your thought process leads you to think. As for me, I’m sensing a strong wave of stupid washing over, ready to drop at any moment.
After all, near as I can tell it’s way past time (possibly days) for my medication… and I think a nap may be in order.
Keep writing, keep thinking and most importantly keep your chin up. If you keep it down you can’t see where you’re going and you’ll run into things.